I love the Paul Tripp quote about the goodness of the Lord: “The goodness of the Lord frees you from being imprisoned by past regret, paralyzed by present doubt, and crippled by future fear.”
Psalm 119:65-72 says, “Do good to your servant according to your Word, Lord. Teach me knowledge and good judgment, for I trust Your commands. Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey Your Word. You are good, and what You do is good; teach me Your decrees. Though the arrogant have smeared me with lies, I keep Your precepts with all my heart. Their hearts are callous and unfeeling, but I delight in Your law. It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn Your decrees. The law from Your mouth is more precious to me than thousands of pieces of silver and gold.”
When I think about these words from scripture, I am reminded of all the things that comprise God’s goodness. God the Creator is to be admired, but more importantly worshipped, because He is superior in all and over all. His qualities are beyond positive. They are otherworldly – He is immutable, infinite, impartial, omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient. In these qualities and more, I am assured that God is the embodiment of perfect goodness. He is kind, benevolent, and full of good will toward all creation. He is virtuous and righteous. Morally excellent. I must ponder the past, present, and future in light of His Word.
The key is – “in light of His Word.” I must know it. I must read it. I must meditate upon it. I must study it carefully. It must become a part of me. In Christ, I can know Truth through His Word. It sets me free, body, mind, and soul – from imprisonment, paralysis, and fear. Past, present, future.
God did this for me. My past is fully forgiven because of the accomplishment of Jesus Christ in conquering death delivered to Him upon Calvary’s Cross. Although enemies meant His death to be permanent, Christ rose victorious and paid the price for me that I owed for my own sin. Why then would I cling to past mistakes and regrettable choices if this salvation victory has been sealed for me by the Good God of the Universe? Yes, I stray away from trusting God when I look away from His Word. This happens especially when things are going well and I appear to have a grip on my life. Afflicted with worries, what-ifs, frantic paces, perfectionistic burdens. This happens. But, God has erased my regrets through Jesus Christ. God did this for me.
God does this for me. When my present is crowded with pressures and pulls, when my daily existence shouts that 24 hours is not enough, and when my calendar is jumbled with activity upon activity, God invites me to spend time with Him before facing even another minute. His presence brings peace and calm, clear thoughts, gratitude, and faith that casts out doubt. His Word enables me to filter out lies and plots. His Spirit whispers life-giving truths that sustain me in the present. God does this for me.
God promises this to me. A future marked by hope. A future not built upon fear. A future that creates in me (now) an attitude of expectant preparedness. A delight in His Word. A willingness to be identified with Christ in the sufferings of the past and present, with the weight of His glory out in front of me. Alignment with His will and not my own. A day when all tears will be wiped away. A day when Christ will return and make all things new. A day when God’s goodness will totally triumph. A day when the enjoyment of the Lord will last forever and life will be lived in light of His majesty and glory. The real meaning of freedom. God promises this to me.
Psalm 119:48-50 says, “I reach out for Your commands, which I love, that I may meditate on Your decrees. Remember Your word to your servant, for You have given me hope. My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life.” Therefore, I trust that God’s goodness completely enfolds me now and forever, and I will not be imprisoned by regret, paralyzed by doubt, or crippled by fear.